shiva: European sculptures adorn the walls of this ancient Shiva temple | Vadodara News

Vadodara: Elaborately designed sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses on the walls of ancient temples in India are a common sight. But do you know that there is a temple in Gujarat with Roman and Portuguese sculptures carved into its walls?
He stands upright on the banks of the Vishwamitri River, a temple of the Lord Shiva is one of the rare ancient temples with European sculptures.
But such a priceless cultural heritage is in a neglected state due to the government’s apathy. “I have never seen such an ancient temple with Roman and Portuguese style sculptures. It was made almost 180 years ago, but we cannot say the exact year as there is no date or other detail engraved on the temple,” said Chandrashekhar Patil, art historian.
Patil did some research and found out that the stone used in the construction of the temple was brought from Dhrangadhra which is now in Surendranagar. Artists from Dhrangadhra made the sculptures on the walls of this temple. However, nobody knows why they made Roman and Portuguese sculptures along with the Indian ones on the outer wall of the temple,” Patil told TOI.
A sculpture of a lady wearing a skirt and blouse appears like a Portuguese, visible on the temple. And on the back wall is carved a sculpture of a long-legged Roman warrior holding a sword and shield. Besides the gods and goddesses, the temple also features sculptures of women in Chaniya Choli and Navvari in Marathi style.
“No other temple in Gujarat has such a mixture of cultures. I think the artists wanted to create something distinctive,” added Patil. However, this wonderful work lies in ruins and is surrounded by man-made houses.
“We have been here for decades trying to uphold the sanctity of the temple and protect it,” said a local resident near the temple.
However, Patil said the assaults would damage the temple. “Many years ago I wrote to the district collector and the magistrate several times to get this unique structure. But nobody paid any attention. I gave up after a few years,” he said.

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